Rape victim Evelyn Hernandez given 30 years in prison for suspected abortion cleared in El Salvador

Mail Online | 8/19/2019 | Lara Keay For Mailonline
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A young rape victim given a 30-year prison sentence after being accused of having an abortion has been cleared after a re-trial.

Evelyn Beatriz Hernández, 21, had served two years and nine months behind bars when her conviction was overturned and a re-trial was ordered.

Case - Kind - El - Salvador - Abortion

It was the first case of its kind in El Salvador, where abortion is banned in all circumstances - even if the mother is raped or is at risk of dying in childbirth.

Women convicted of having an illegal abortion can face murder charges, with prosecutors in Hernandez's case asking for her to serve 40.

Yesterday - Judge - Town - Ciudad - Delgado

But yesterday she was acquitted by a judge in the town of Ciudad Delgado to the joy of her family and pro-choice activists around the world.

'Thank God, justice was done,' Hernández said following the verdict, visibly emotional as dozens of women waited at the courthouse on the outskirts of the capital, San Salvador.

'I - Women

'I also thank you who have been present here. Yes we did!' she said to all the women gathered.

Hernández thanked foreign diplomats who have followed her extraordinary case closely and lobbied for her release.

Foetus - Weeks - Pains - Toilet

The 21-year-old's foetus was at 32 weeks in 2016 when she felt intense abdominal pains and delivered it into an outdoor toilet.

It was later found lifeless in a septic tank, with her mother claiming she discovered her daughter passed out next to the latrine.

Women - Hernandez - Foetus - Tank - Prosecutors

Both women maintained Hernandez didn't know she was pregnant and that there was a foetus in the tank, but prosecutors didn't believe them and pressed charges.

Forensic experts were ultimately unable to determine whether it died in the uterus or in the septic tank.

Retrial - Prosecutors - Argument - Commission - Omission

At the retrial, prosecutors' used the argument of commission by omission, which means she failed to protect her foetus.

'We believe the judge has been very fair in his ruling,' defence...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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